Tuesday, May 29, 2012
31 Things :: Story 7 - Work
Today’s really not the best day for me to write about work. I’m frustrated and aggravated. I’ve been teaching marketing and advertising classes for an online university the past nine years. The money is good, you can’t beat working in your PJs, and it allows me the flexibility to be a work at home mom which is important to me.
I take my job seriously – I’m not just in this for the money. I want students to appreciate, and maybe even love, the art of marketing and advertising. Sure, many students don’t give a damn. But I expect them to at least read the textbook, submit assignments on time, and put forth effort.
Unfortunately I’ve become jaded in nine years dealing with students who want to be rewarded for showing up at the last minute and paying tuition. And last year the university came up with a faculty scoring system that’s based on end of course surveys. Great! [said with a high degree of sarcasm] Now the students who want to be rewarded for just showing up – perhaps plagiarizing their work and getting caught – are pissed that they’re failing and have an outlet to blame it on me. That in itself wouldn’t be so bad, but the calculations make it nearly impossible to get a high score. For the life of me I can’t figure out how I can receive 15 positive reviews, 4 negative and receive only 1 point out of a possible 15. This is what was emailed to me this morning.
Sure, I could not put forth as much effort. Not read the papers as closely and thoroughly as I do, and not give as detailed feedback and as a result award higher grades. I can make sure everyone who shows up and submits assignments passes. This would be one way to increase my score. And gosh, it would be a lot easier for me to spend less time and not have to deal with
But I won’t compromise my work.
Yet it feels like that’s what the University wants me to do. What’s disturbing is I know there are instructors who are doing this. I’ve had students retake a class, and submit to me their previous work and grade feedback. Other faculty have given them a perfect score for work that doesn’t even address the assignment objectives. Ugh.
On days like today I dream of doing something else. For 12 years I worked in corporate marketing, but the idea of going back to working outside of the home makes me queezy. I take on part time projects from time to time with my previous employer which is great money, but not consistent or reliable. My creative spirit fueled by my business sense longs to start my own business… yet being a perfectionist and not much of a risk-taker holds me back. Someday. Right now my priority is being a mom to a small child and hopefully another on the way through adoption. Jeff and I have talked about me being a stay at home mom full time, but we can’t do it right now financially.
So here I sit. Grading papers, and gritting my teeth.